Blueberry Buckle

Photo of piece of blueberry buckleThis is a buckle, not to be confused with a grunt, slump, crisp, cobbler or clafouti. The fruit is mixed into a cake batter and there is a crumble or crisp topping on top of the cake. It is not unlike a coffee cake. Definitions and traditions and monikers aside, it is simply marvelous. And if you eat it at my house and reach into the pan at the same time as my daughter, you might get injured. We really like this dessert. This is one I’ve made several times trying to get to the perfect concoction, and this is the perfect recipe for me. I will make it every year when blueberries peak and you can actually get the big container for less than the price of your first born child.

But this brings me to another point…welcome to my new website. I’ve done a little bit of renovation. If you came here via this post directly, make sure to visit the homepage by clicking on the pie shape header above. You will see that there is a new slider on the homepage that will show you 15 posts from days gone by. If you come back later it will show you 15 different posts. I’d love to load it with all 350 plus recipes so you can watch it like a slideshow all day long…but alas, it takes long enough for the page to load as it is. You will see that there is a print function with the new, and hopefully, much more readable recipe layout. You may also notice that I said goodby to the ads on my website. My sense is that we have all learned to block out ads, we never click them, and they essentially become visual clutter for which I am paid only pennies per day, but make my website look like my attic…cluttered. Should I ever get 100,000 page views per day through some bizarre turn of events, I might put them back…but for now, let’s enjoy them gone.

Also, at the top, you can visit the new Recipe and Post Index which has a photo index arranged by category. I like it. The long list index of recipes are still there too if you prefer those.

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Chocolate Pound Cake

Chocolate Pound Cake FinishedYou will be needing some Christmas cake, I suppose. Someone should bring cake. This is one of my favorite family recipes. My mother made it for our big family gatherings at my grandparents’ house for years and years. It is a memory cake for me.

This year I was in charge of desserts for Thanksgiving so I decided to strike up the band one more time and bake the things that I loved from my childhood, namely this cake and chocolate brownies (without pecans because in my kid life I wouldn’t eat them and this is a kid-intensive gathering). You see, I was able to go home to Wichita Falls and celebrate Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house, where my Aunt Joyce and Uncle Pete Gill now live. This is the first big gathering I’ve made in a few years and it was the wonderful, love-filled, extremely casual, joyful day of smiles that it always was. We used to live right next door to my grandparents on Lake Wichita. The morning of Thanksgiving or Christmas my mom would start the day by sending my brother and me next door to deliver copious amounts of baked goods to my grandma’s house. Grandma Katie would put down a cloth over the washer and dryer and that became the dessert table. And it was always jam packed with cakes and pies and cookies and candy.

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Ford’s Chocolate Birthday Cake

Ford's Chocolate Layer CakeWhat a crazy start to Spring! I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Fortunately, it has all been for good. I’ve been doing a lot of writing, a lot of learning about technology, a lot of learning about ETSY, and a lot of preparing for next week’s Foodways Texas Symposium at which I am moderating a panel discussion about hunting and BBQ. I’m inordinately excited about it. My children had two different Spring Breaks…whose Brilliant Idea Was That? It hasn’t left a lot of time for recipe development. I’ve barely remembered to pick up my kids at carpool every day.

But, I get all excited about these things. Then, I remember…kids’ BIRTHDAYS! Oops. Both of my kid’s birthdays are within 30 days of each other, and each get to choose their cake. Lily’s cake this year was so unattractive as to not deserve any sort of photo documentation. But it was exactly what she wanted…so we are all good on that one.

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Molten Chocolate Cakes

Molten Chocolate Cake LeadI have made about eight versions of Molten Chocolate Cake (poor pitiful me), varying the ingredients by as little as a tablespoon of flour. I have also made them with no flour at all.

The attempts resulted in relatives of brownies, soufflés, and very egg-y cake-lets.  My final version is a very deeply chocolaty, but not too dense, molten cake. The little cakes cook, leaving a pod of gooey fudge in the center.

My version is slightly more involved than most that I ran across simply because I go to the little extra steps of separating the eggs and whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks and folding them into the batter.  Some recipes just beat the whole eggs and sugar and throw it all in.  But mine ended up eggy and spongy when I tried that.  I think it is worth the effort to do this extra step.

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Katie Cake a.k.a. Dump Cake

Throwdown!

What is a throwdown, you ask? It is a recipe that goes together in a snap, often using major shortcuts, and still allows you to serve a fresh baked (cooked) meal to your people. I have tried to avoid this for the most part because I think “from scratch” cooking is easier than most people think and I like sharing that. Plus, I figured that everyone already had a full set of “throwdowns.”

Yet, last week when I was visiting my friend Margaret in Cotuit, Massachusetts, she made the very good point that one can never have enough throwdown recipes on hand AND that just because I assume that you have all the same throwdowns as I do does not mean that you do. So, while I will continue to bring you the fresh, from scratch recipes, I’m also going to start peppering PIE with a few throwdowns, savory and sweet alike. Thanks for the nudge, Margaret, because some of these are real treasures.

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